Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat - A Review
Best Eco Friendly Yoga Sticky Mat -- the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat
As a yoga teacher, and as someone who's trying to make more environmentally-friendly choices in the way I live, I've put much thought into what type of yoga sticky mat to buy for myself and to recommend to my students.
The best eco-friendly yoga mat I've found is the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat from JadeYoga.
This premium quality mat is made from natural rubber, a sustainable resource, and has good grip and cushioning, making it an ecologically friendly, good all-purpose yoga mat. The Jade Harmony Yoga Mat is manufactured in the United States and is sold through a number of different stores that carry sports and fitness equipment, including Amazon.com at very reasonable prices.
I love the feel of this mat as I practice. It allows me to hold poses such as Utthita trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) and Adho mukha svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) with no worries about slipping feet or hands. The mat is dense enough that it lies flat rather than bunching up underfoot (or hand). It does still have a new-rubber smell but that's fading over time.
Update: I wrote this page in September, 2010. In March 2013 I replaced my original Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat with another one. The old mat, while still very usable and slip-resistant, had started to stretch lengthwise during use (part or all of that could've been avoided if I used my legs a little differently in standing poses). Given that I used this mat for each class I taught (8 - 9 classes/week) and during my own practice at my studio, it held up well. I expect my new mat to work out just as well.
A Good All-Purpose Yoga Mat
What drew me first to the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat is that it's made from a renewable resource, natural rubber, and is manufactured in the United States in compliance with national environmental and labor laws, making it a good eco-friendly choice.
The open-cell construction gives all JadeYoga mats their great non-slip surface, even for people who sweat a lot during their practice. I've used a couple of closed-cell natural rubber yoga mats from a different yoga mat company, and while they were generally fine to work with, I had more slippage than with my Harmony mat.
The Jade Harmony Yoga mat comes in two lengths: 68" is the standard length, and 74" for the taller yoga practitioner. The standard width is 24", but some stores now also carry the 27" extra wide mat. At 3/16" thick, it has good cushioning but not so much as to make yoga balance poses unstable. The standard size mat weights about 4.5 lbs. It comes in an assortment of colors.
The Jade Harmony mat can be cleaned with mild soap and water, rinsed thoroughly, and hung to dry out of direct sunlight. Since this mat is made out of natural rubber, direct sunlight will start to break down the mat.
Why Buy an Eco Friendly Yoga Mat?
Photo of Jade Harmony Yoga Mat from G Living Blog
Most of the yoga mats being sold and used today are made from the plastic PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which during production emits toxic chemicals such as the carcinogen dioxin. There's also not much effort yet to recycle PVC products, so they end up in landfills, possibly leaching out more harmful chemicals.
According to Yoga Journal, approximately 15 million people practice yoga in the United States. This translates into millions of mats, and large quantities of the "eco-unfriendly" PVC mat material. Most of these mats end up eventually in landfills where they don't biodegrade.
Ahimsa -- "Do No Harm"
The most basic tenet of yoga is Ahimsa, or "do no harm". How can we in good conscience continue to buy PVC yoga mats when they're made from unsustainable petroleum products, and harmful to the environment?
JadeYoga, the company that produces this mat, is actively practicing Ahimsa toward the environment with their choice of using sustainable natural rubber for their mats, and by following safe environmental and labor regulations. They also "give back" to the environment by planting a tree for every mat they sell.
Jade Harmony Mat -- High Customer Satisfaction for an Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat
According to ConsumerSearch, the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat has the highest ratings for customer satisfaction for an ecologically friendly yoga mat.
With close to 80 customer ratings currently listed on Amazon.com, the Jade Harmony Yoga mat has a 4.5 out of 5.0 overall rating. People gave this mat high marks for its non-skid surface and for the cushioning, and the fact that it's an eco friendly yoga mat. Because it's heavier than the common, inexpensive plastic (PVC) mats, it lies flat rather than bunching up.
Comments about drawbacks for the Jade Harmony Yoga mat include higher cost, a strong rubber smell (this fades over time but doesn't completely disappear), it's heavier than many other mats, so not as easy to carry to classes, some people have had difficulty cleaning it because of its open cell construction (readily picks up hair and dust), and for some it wears out quickly. This last is a drawback of products made from most natural materials -- they "biodegrade"! Plastic yoga mats, on the other hand, will last for a long, long time even after you're done with them!
For me, these drawbacks are small compared to the over-riding benefits of this eco-friendly, non-skid mat. I don't have problems with cleaning it, and I don't mind the rubber smell. I also love the way this mat helps with my yoga practice!
Consider Buying it for Yourself
Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat on Amazon
If you're ready to buy your next yoga mat, take a good look at this sturdy and environmentally friendly mat. You'll be supporting an eco-responsible company, while you get good traction, stability and cushioning with this premium quality yoga mat.
You'll be able to choose from an assortment of colors, and the standard or long lengths.
Currently, prices average a little under $50 for the standard length mat, and a little over $50 for the long mat.
Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
Carry Your Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat in Style
Good yoga gym bags and tote bags for carrying your Jade Harmony Eco-friendly yoga mat and other gear for class or for the gym.
- Best Yoga Bags -- Yoga Gym Bags
Are you looking for yoga bags or totes to carry your mat and other gear? Here are some of the highest rated yoga gym bags and totes that I've come across.
- Best Yoga Bags for Carrying Your Yoga Mat
There are many styles of yoga bags to choose from, including bags or straps that just hold your yoga mat, to larger yoga gym bags which hold more gear.
If You Want More Information
Check out these links for more information on JadeYoga and its products, on Yoga mat reviews, and on PVC.
- Best Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats
An Eco-friendly Yoga Mat is a yoga mat that's made from materials that aren't toxic to people or the environment. Some eco-friendly yoga mats are made from
- Buying Eco Friendly Yoga Mats
Are you in the market for a new yoga mat? Consider choosing one of these eco-friendly yoga mats to help keep the environment healthier.
- Polyvinyl chloride - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Description of PVC, how it's produced, and its possible health concerns.
What is your experience with your yoga mats? Have you tried a Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat? What did you think? Is there another eco-friendly yoga mat that works well for you?